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					We are at War!
A Question…

              At the outset of World
               War II, when did the
              war with Japan actually
                      begin?
                With the attack on
                  Pearl Harbor
                December 7, 1941
                  (That’s what people
                    usually think.)
A Question…


               When did did the
               war with al-Qaeda
                actually begin?
              With the attack on the
              World Trade Center
               September 11, 2001
                  (That’s what people
                   usually think, too.)
But is that when these
wars actually started?
      Didn’t Japan plan
      their attack months,
      even years in
      advance?

And didn’t al-Qaeda do the
same thing? Weren’t their
attacks something they had
planned for years?
  Weren’t we at war
   with Japan long
  before December
  7th and weren’t we
    at war with al-
  Qaeda long before
   September 11th?

But we just didn’t
    realize it?
When thought of in these
terms, doesn’t it seem rather
odd - even frightening - to
realize…

               That we could be
                at war and not
                even know it!?
    But that’s
precisely what IS
happening for so
many of us - right
      now!
 We ARE at war!
And a lot of us
haven’t noticed!
This weekend we begin
 a new Sermon series.


The Armor of
    God
(Ephesians 6:10-18)
Ephesians 6:10-18
 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in
 his mighty power. Put on the full
 armor of God so that you can take
 your stand against the devil's
 schemes. For our struggle is not
 against flesh and blood, but against
 the rulers, against the authorities,
 against the powers of this dark world
 and against the spiritual forces of evil
 in the heavenly realms. Therefore put
 on the full armor of God, so that when
 the day of evil comes, you may be
 able to stand your ground, and after
 you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-18
 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth
 buckled around your waist, with the
 breastplate of righteousness in place,
 and with your feet fitted with the
 readiness that comes from the gospel
 of peace. In addition to all this, take
 up the shield of faith, with which you
 can extinguish all the flaming arrows
 of the evil one. Take the helmet of
 salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
 which is the word of God. And pray
 in the Spirit on all occasions with all
 kinds of prayers and requests. With
 this in mind, be alert and always keep
 on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:10-18

   Notice how Paul uses
   combat terminology
    and the imagery of
 warfare. He uses words
 like struggle and armor.
 He is trying to make his
     point very clear.
   We are at war
    It is a war that is
    spiritual
      It is a war that is
      against Satan and
      all that is evil
It is a war that is fought
on many different fronts
And it is a war that we must
constantly be engaged in
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil

           Notice how very real and
           very present this war is:

           Paul puts it: “For our struggle is not
           against flesh and blood, but against the
           rulers, against the authorities, against
           the powers of this dark world and
           against the spiritual forces of evil in the
           heavenly realms. “
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
            Paul uses the present tense
            when he describes this
            struggle.
                He wants to make sure that we know
                that it IS happening right now!
             He wants us to know that it IS
             happening all around us!
          And he wants us to know that it IS
          happening to us!
                             It IS OUR struggle!
And since it IS
 OUR struggle,
that means that
  WE have to
    FIGHT!
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
             Notice who our enemy is
            (and who our enemy isn‟t):

           As Paul puts it: “For our struggle is not
           against flesh and blood, but against the
           rulers, against the authorities, against
           the powers of this dark world and
           against the spiritual forces of evil in the
           heavenly realms. “
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
                               We usually
                              think of war
                                this way

                               As a clash
                               between
                               people of
                               opposing
                                 sides
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
                              We think in
                               terms of
                               enemies
                                 and
                              opponents

                              And all of
                              them are
                               people
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
            As we fight for such things as
             the sanctity of marriage and
              the rights of the unborn or
                against such things as
           pornography and drug abuse…

              We often think of the
             enemy as being human.
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil

            We identify the enemy as
            the liberal left, the radical
               right, Hollywood, the
              press corps, politicians,
             federal court judges, etc.
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
            We do this in the Church and
                in this congregation
            We get into a disagreement about
            finances
                Things get hot and heavy at a
                Voters’ meeting
             Boards clash against boards; people
             clash against people; and pretty soon
             we treat each other…
              as though they’re the enemy!
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
            Why… we can even do this in
            all of our human relationships
            At work with our co-workers and
            bosses
                At home with our spouses, children
                and parents
                     At school with teachers and
                     with students
          In all human relations, when things
         get bad, we can mistake each other for
                       the enemy
         But we’re not
         the enemy…
           Satan is!
        Satan who tempts us to sin
        and disobey God
           Satan who seeks to snare
           people away from God
   Satan who entices entire nations
   away from what God commands
Satan who would like nothing better
than to divide Christians, thus making
us ineffective for the work God has
called us to do
We are engaged in spiritual
warfare against Satan and
his evil
                Look at it this way:

             Failing to recognize Satan
              as our ultimate enemy is
                like the United States
               fighting a war without
              really knowing who it’s
                    real enemy is.
Can you
imagine?      That when the
            Japanese attacked
             Pearl Harbor, the
              United States
            thought their only
           opponents were the
           pilots who actually
           dropped the bombs
               - and not the
                  Japanese
               themselves?
Can you
imagine?
           That after September 11th,
           we thought that our only
            enemy was Osama bin
           Laden and not the rest of
            the terrorist network?
  That’s ridiculous,
        right?
But we do the very same thing.
For example, when we take a
stand concerning same-sex
marriage: instead of dealing
with the deeper issues and
seeing that it is Satan who is
promoting this lie, we make
gay people the enemy.
  That’s ridiculous,
        right?
When some hot-button issue
explodes within the
congregation, we get mad at
each other and we point fingers
instead of actually recognizing
how Satan is using people on
both sides of the issue
(ourselves included) to damage
relationships among fellow
brothers and sisters in Christ!
  That’s ridiculous,
        right?
And when there’s tension at
home, disobedience of
children, fighting between
spouses - the constant
temptation that we give into
(sometimes consciously and
sometimes subconsciously) is
to view each other as the
enemy.
    But we are not the
         enemy.
      They are not the
          enemy.
          Satan is!
Satan is the enemy who is using
whatever the situation is at hand
to wreak havoc in our lives and
   draw us away from God!
         Your enemy is Satan
              He IS doing everything he can
              to take us away from God.
                 He IS doing everything he
                 can to continue the moral
                 downward spiral of our
                 nation.
           He IS doing everything he can to
           divide Christians & Christian
           congregations.
             He IS the one attacking us!

And, by the way,we are the ones
The apostle Peter put it
this way:
            “Be clear-minded and alert. Your
            opponent the devil is prowling around
            like a roaring lion, looking for someone
            to devour. Resist him and be firm in the
            faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

               “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The
               Devil is poised to pounce, and
               would like nothing better than to
               catch you napping. Keep your guard
               up…” (The Message version)
     Satan won’t catch us
         napping…
    As we continue to realize that
    we are at war with him
      As we continue to realize that,
      though it might appear
      otherwise, our enemy is NOT
      each other or other human
      beings
As we take seriously the need to
put on the full armor of God
   As we remember one other thing…
  Satan has
already been
  defeated!
Paul puts it this way:

    “The God of peace will soon
    crush Satan under your feet.
    May the grace of our Lord
    Jesus Christ be with you.”
    (Romans 16:20)
       “Before you know it the
       God of peace will come
       down on Satan with both
       feet, stomping him into
       the dirt. Enjoy the best of
       Jesus!” (The Message
       version)
The ultimate defeat of
  Satan is assured!
       His defeat is a done deal
       because Jesus died on the
       cross to remove Satan’s
       number one weapon: sin!
     His defeat is a done deal
     because Jesus rose from the
     dead, thus taking away the
     ultimate desire Satan has for
     all: eternal death
And the defeat of Satan is something
we share in through faith in Christ!
   The apostle John puts it
   this way:
         “Because God‟s word remains
         in you… you have overcome
         the evil one.” (1 John 2:14)

         Or, as James puts it:
    “Therefore, submit yourselves to
    God. Resist the devil, and he will
    run away from you.” (James 4:7)
“So let God work his will in you. Yell a
loud „NO‟ to the Devil and watch him
scamper.” (The Message version)
Or… as Martin Luther
wrote:

      Though devils all the world
      should fill,
      All eager to devour us,
      We tremble not, we fear no ill,
      They shall not overpow‟r us.
      This world‟s prince may still
      Scowl fierce as he will,
      He can harm us none,
      He‟s judged; the deed is done;
      One little word can fell him.
So… we ARE at War!
  A spiritual war against Satan
 A war that’s already WON         But a war
                                   in which
                                      the
                                   fighting
                                      will
                                   continue
                                  until Jesus
                                    comes
                                     again
   We have armor to put
     on for this war
  Armor and weaponry
    that we will talk
   about over the next
       few weeks
But for now, let us be
perfectly clear on this:
We ARE at
  war!

				
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